Macmillan, the publishing company behind Macmillan Dictionary, this year celebrates its 175th birthday. You can find out a bit about its history here:
One of the celebrated writers published by Macmillan in its early years was the children’s author Lewis Carroll, whose classic tales about a little girl called Alice and her magical adventures were first published by Macmillan over 150 years ago. Carroll delighted in wordplay and linguistic creativity and invented many words, some of which like chortle and galumph are still used today. You can find out more about Carroll and his particular brand of English humour here, along with links to posts about his use of language, and some fun language-learning resources.
As well as creating many new words, Carroll also coined the term portmanteau word to describe words like chortle that are a combination (or blend) of two other words. More recent examples include words like brunch, bromance, chillax and jeggings.
Blends are one of the most entertaining and creative of the many types of new words that constantly flow into English. To celebrate Macmillan’s birthday and the magic of linguistic creativity, our regular blogger Stan Carey has created a brand-new quiz about portmanteau words. So why not join in the celebrations by having a go?
To try our earlier fun quizzes, visit this page on Macmillan Dictionary!